Homophones

Today's cryptic clue type is the homophone, where the wordplay involves words that sound the same but mean different things.

Let's have a look....

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Fastener's levy announced (5)

In this clue, "announced" is the indicator for a homophone, and you're looking for a word that means "fastener" and sounds like another word (spelt differently!) that means "levy"

Homophones Indicators

Homophones will always have an indicator – keep your ear out for....

  • Any reference to hearing: “I heard,” “in the ear,” “listened to”, "all to hear"
  • Any reference to speaking: “orally,” “out loud,” “said,” “recited”, "announced"
  • Phrases like “On the radio,” “broadcast,” “over the airwaves,” etc.
  • Words relating to communication, like “reportedly”

As always, the definition and wordplay can each go either at the beginning or end of the clue. Note that the homophone indicator will always go next to the homophone (that is, the sound-alike meaning).

So, in "Fasteners levy announced," since "announced" comes at the end we know that "levy" must be the sound-alike and "Fasteners" must be the literal definition.

Similarly, if a clue begins with "Reportedly,..." we know that the sound-alike is in the middle and the literal definition is at the end.

If the homophone-indicator is in the middle of the clue, we're bang out of luck – the defintion and sound-alike could be on either side, so we just have to puzzle through the options and see what happens.

Have a go at this one:

Today's Cryptic: Homophones

And on to today's cryptic! Sounds like a good time....

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